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How I write 10,000 words in a day

This is not a daily occurrence; 10,000 words in a day is a writing marathon that takes planning. It’s also not high-quality writing, but it is a good way to forge through the boring filler scenes I’ve been putting off and it gives me a lot of material on the page that I can later edit into something usable.

Preparation

I choose a day at least a couple of days, if not weeks, in the future that I can fully dedicate to writing. I plan ahead, make sure I clear my schedule, sort out snacks and meals for the day, and (if working at home) take care of the house work. This way, I have nothing else to think about or get distracted by.

I keep a note book of things I want to write about, typically just a bullet-pointed list of scenes that I have thought about. I am more of a freestyler than a planner, so that’s about as planned ahead as I ever get. I have a playlist ready to listen to, which I may or may not use.

On the day, I get up early and head to the gym, go for walk, anything that gets me active and away from my work space for at least an hour (I have tried it without the exercise and found that the day’s word count is always lower if I skip it). I have breakfast (a meal I often don’t really bother with). Shower. Clean clothes. Brushed teeth. All of these things, so I am awake and fresh.

The actual writing

I open a new document (which I save as “10K Day [date]”) and just start typing. Sometimes this means fragments of conversations I thought about while on the treadmill, sometimes it’s working on something from the notebook. Whatever I’m writing, the trick is to write it, no editing, no hesitations, no back spacing, not even for typos. I get myself into a groove and just keep going.

If I find myself a bit stuck, if my fingers haven’t hit the keys in the last thirty seconds, I hit the Enter key three times and start writing something else. 99% of the time, this something else will be a different scene within the same story, but every now and then I’ll jump to a different story entirely. If I can’t think of the word I want or need to name a new character, I will just type XXX and keep going.

I have my notebook next to me, so I can just work my way down my ‘to write’ list if I am having trouble thinking of what to write. Often, I start with the notebook but by the end of the day won’t be referring to it as much, mostly writing things I haven’t thought about before. This is when a lot of character development happens, unplanned quirks and descriptions slip in, and the next thing I know this character is gay and that one’s a red head (later, I go back and make sure these elements are consistent throughout the story).

I work in two-hour blocks, with twenty-minute breaks in between and one hour for lunch. Usually, I hit a wall at about 8,000 words around 4pm. When this happens I stop for an hour or two. Maybe go for another walk, maybe take a nap. I get back to it after dinner and pass the 10,000-word mark around 8:00pm. This is just me, I have friends who also do this and write much faster than I do, getting their 10,000 in half the time, and others who almost never actually hit the target. It doesn’t actually matter if they don’t though, they have still spent a day on their writing and made real progress.

My favourite way of doing a 10,000-word day is making it a social event. My old writing group used to reserve a private room in the library and bring our laptops. We followed the same schedule of twenty-minute breaks every two hours, and wouldn’t interact during writing time, except maybe silently passing around chocolate. Then, during the breaks, we would tell each other what we were writing about.

We first started doing this by taking part in a monthly 10K Day run by a writing blog, where you could log on and post updates through the day, and encourage each other. It was great, and I would love to post a link to the site, but it’s been a long time since I visited the website, and when I went looking for it today I couldn’t find it :(

Post-10,000 word day

A day or two after I have done a 10,000-word day, I edit what I wrote. Or if not edit, at least see what I can use. I sit down and scroll through, reading what I spewed onto the page, often feeling like it’s the first time I have seen those words.

I may not be able to use everything I wrote right away. E.g a piece of dialogue is from this WIP, but I don’t know when it happens so don’t have anywhere to put it in the story right now. These fragments stay untouched.

Anything I can use right away, I copy and paste into a WIP. I don’t delete anything I write, so anything I use I change the colour of in the 10K document so I end up with a rainbow of used text. This lets me see what has and hasn’t been used with minimal effort when I come back to the 10K document later on.

Inside my Writing Folder, I have a Used folder. Once everything in a 10K Day document has been used, I move the document to the Used folder. Until then, it sits in the main folder, ready for me to open it up and scroll through. It can stay there for a long time, especially if it has pieces from more than one story in it. Having it there means that when I have time to write but find myself unsure what I want to say I have a stock pile of pieces to use as a jumping off point.

codyswritings  asked:

I recently read your "What NOT to do with Assassin's" post, and wanted to ask you about them. I'm writing a story that revolves around a team of superpowered assassin's on the hunt from their organization because their latest target was a friend of theirs. They refuse to kill her, and the organization attempts to kill them. I don't know if this falls under the same category as "Biting the Hand that Feeds" or "The Atoning Assassin," but if it does, is there anyway I can make it sound better?

I’ll give you a piece of advice that’s going to save you a lot of trouble.

Tropes are descriptive. They’re not prescriptive.

TVTropes is helpful for analysis, or finding research materials. It’s helpful for figuring out what you have and what you want. It’s not puzzle pieces. If you get too caught up in them, they will own you. You’ll end up writing to them or find yourself stuck trying to get away from them instead of telling your story.

Your work is going to go through many drafts as it evolves, you’re going to change things, switch it around. It is the rare writer who churns out a perfect draft on every hit, and they’re the novelists who put out a book every ten years.

The first draft is often made of cliches, and it will seem like you’re holding a piece of coal. There’s insecurity, fear, worries about what we have and if anyone will ever want to read it. Everything is exciting and then it seems awful. When everything feels black, remember: you’ve got a diamond.

You’ve just got to put the work into polishing it. We must always begin at the beginning, which is one of the most crucial times in your creative life. (The other being the Middle). So, write the damn thing first.

When we get stuck on “is it good enough?” (and most of us do), we end up ignoring the part where we need to do in the storytelling. Give yourself time to think of ways to get past the cliches and flesh out your characters as you pursue your narrative.

There are plot twists behind the plot twists you haven’t even dreamed of yet. Give yourself a chance to get there.

Go to sites like TVTropes last instead of first, wait until you have a novel written and you’re preparing for other drafts. When you want to be able to describe what you have, because you know what it is rather than what its going to be.

As creatives, we’ve no guarantee that the story we envision in our heads is the one that ends up on the page. If we end up getting stuck fighting with it or running from it, then we’ll never get anywhere. Just let it out.

You’ve got plenty of time to make the whole thing sound better after the fact.

After all, draft number one isn’t the end. It’s another beginning. You’ve got miles more to go. Those miles will strip away the ugly, the cliche, the fears, and everything else in between.

Forget the tropes. Just do it.

-Michi

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Cherchez La Femme: Plus que ma Propre Vie (Final)

A/N: This is the final part. Good Lord, I can’t believe I’m done. This has gone on since JUNE, everyone. JUNE. And I’ve been writing it since October of 2016. I wrote it, edited it, edited it, typed it up, edited it again, and edited as I posted. It’s been quite a mess. But a good mess.

This fic is the reason I started a Tumblr. Back when I began writing it, I was coming out of a really horrible place in my life and I felt like I could start writing again, so I decided to start off easy–with fanfiction. I thought having characters and settings, etc, that were already developed would help me out, but this actually turned out to be one of the most in-depth, complicated things I have ever written. 172 pages (on a Word document, it was over 300 handwritten) and 107,500 ish words later, it’s actually finished. Done writing it, done posting it, and I’m not going to go back and edit the posts, even though I really, really want to. 

I have so many people to thank, for giving me ideas or for encouragement, so here goes:

@captainamerotica: You are actually half of Cherchez la Femme. All those scenarios we came up with? This is a conglomerate of all of those. Also, Drina is based on you, and I’m so glad I included her. So thank you for being there from the literal beginning.

@find-me-here2: You were my first Tumblr friend, and back when I was still complaining about how writing was going on this site, you were diligently reblogging everything and shamelessly promoting my fic even before I was certain that I was going to post it! Thank you for nagging me to finish it. 

@persephone-is-here-omg: Thank you, first of all, for your all-caps, paragraph-long reactions to every. Single. Post. I love seeing them, and I happen to like that your phone doesn’t understand that you definitely put paragraph breaks in. I think it’s hilarious. Thank you, my lovely wifey, for nagging me continually to post it as I teased you with bits and pieces of it (get ready to do it again for Twisted Satin and Diablerie). I treasure you and your wonderful comments.

@thecrownedrose: Thank you for your marginally less screamy reactions to this fic. They were no less entertaining, but definitely a little less punchy. I’m sorry I made you cry so much, but unfortunately, you can’t blame me for all of it; it’s Marvel’s fault. No angst, no Bucky! Thank you for reading and commenting on every single post despite the fact that you are now dealing with screaming, annoying children. Thank you, also, for nagging me to post this, even when I bitched to you about not wanting to, and as I said above, get ready to do it again for Twisted Satin and Diablerie! I love you, I love you, I love you.

@abovethesmokestacks: Thank you for reading and reblogging on every single post! Your reviews were amazing, too; they satisfied my inner English major when I needed someone to analyze things with in-depth. Seeing you reblogging always made me happy. 

@rebelslicious: YOUR GIFS. YOUR GIFS. Thank you for every single one of those. I usually burst out laughing whenever I saw them because they were so perfect. 

@suz-123: I know you weren’t there since the beginning beginning, but I’m so glad you found Cherchez! Thank you for every single one of your reblogs and comments! 

@betsy1066: Thank you as well! You have stuck out this whole thing, and I really, really admire you for it, because it was starting to get ridiculous. @rainbowrobotmarkerz: You started in the middle, but I’m so glad you saw it and enjoyed it! Thank you!

@genesis-d-winter: I’m so glad I met you at that convention! I loved talking to you there, and thank you so much for reading this and reblogging it. Hopefully we can continue talking, and we’ll see each other again at another con.

@sad-af1121 and @papi-chulo-bucky: Thank you for reading and reblogging. I see you every so often in my notes and I love it. Also, @papi-chulo-bucky, that anon’s ask made my year, thank you for thinking of my fic. Church flames is actually a good title. @avengersandlovers, thank you for reading this, too! I love how you attempted to call me out for whining about your angst, but I’m going to, even though my blog is the Angst Den. I’m so glad you enjoyed Cherchez, despite all the sads.

@erisjade: Your messages every so often were awesome, thank you so much for that. They usually came at just the right time and kept me going.

@adminsup and @mo320: I see you messaging and liking all the posts. You guys are absolute sweethearts, and I know we never talk, but I see it, and you make me happy. 

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE ON MY TAGLISTS. Whether you stuck it out from the beginning, found it in the middle, or saw the post a few chapters ago, thank you, thank you, for telling me that you wanted to read it and you thought it was important enough to be notified about. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO READ IT OR IS READING IT. I may not see you on the notes, but I know you’re there and I wanted to say thank you for giving it a look. This thing is my baby and I love it, and I love all of you. @charliexowrite and @bi-diana-prince, I know you guys are like me and are going to binge read now that it’s over, so ENJOY!

If I forgot anyone, I am so sorry, but I’ve had this in my drafts now for a couple of weeks. Thank you all. The fanart, the comments, the reblogs, the likes… thank you.

I will probably make a playlist on Youtube soon, and make a post about that. I’m working on a Spotify, too. 

WARNINGS: FLUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUFF, small children included, engagement, swearing, marriage

WORD COUNT: 1845

MASTERLIST

SONG: I’ll Be Seeing You–Instrumental

Keep reading

Anti’s shooting themselves in the foot: A ramble.

I think most of my followers tend to know where I stand on issues: I used to be pretty seriously ‘anti-SJW/Anti-feminist’ and as I got older and less excited by it, it became a matter of “Eh, just don’t be a shithead and call yourself whatever you want.” But overall I’d still identify as “Skeptical of any label and/or its claims.”

So when I talk about Anti-whatevers, know that this is from what used to be an inside perspective. And a perspective that started back in like… 2012 or 2013, so it’s not a new one, and it’s one that has seen incredibly popular blogs rise, fall and go all over the place.

And also note that while the below word-vomit will be addressing the group as a whole, that it’s really directed to a specific sub-group. Mainly the ‘paragraph-gif-paragraph-gif-paragraph-gif’ formatted blogs of which there are a few particularly notorious offenders. The blogs in question also tend to use a specific character from a specific show (not the same one, each blog has a ‘signature’ if you will) ad nauseam. If you’re someone who I mutually follow and are going “Is this me?” you’re either lying to yourself, or are obviously not in this camp. 

Anyways, here’s what I wanted to talk about after all the disclaimers: You motherfuckers destroy your credibility in a field you might be knowledgeable about by talking about fields which you are definitely not knowledgeable about. And as soon as anyone in that field sees one of your posts on that topic, your credibility is immediately weakened.

This is bad, and you guys need to stop acting like you know everything.

I’m a law student. I am by no means an expert at the law, at all. But I think it’s fair to say I know significantly more about the law, and a much larger amount of what the law is and how it operates than the typical layperson. Yes, even the “I read one of Justice [Whoever]’s dissenting opinions, and then a [News column]’s analysis of it” layperson. I’ve spent (roughly) 1,000 or so hours doing nothing but studying the law this year, and most of those hours were being spent under the tutelage of people who have literally decades of legal expertise and experience under their belt. Your op-ed and hobbyist reading probably doesn’t weigh up to it. It might, I know for instance that @thenuanceddebater has a fairly strong grasp of the law and its application in the US from what I’ve seen. Whether this is because they work in the legal field, an associated field, or they’re just particularly intelligent I don’t know. But I do know that they’re one of ~5 people on this site I’ve seen talk about the law and I go “Yeah, they have a solid grasp of this material”.

But so often people will talk about the law as if you know everything about it. “Oh, this is how that’s classified, and this is what that means” or “Oh, this is clearly how you interpret these documents, it’s obvious” when in reality what you’re doing is parroting your favorite youtuber/op-ed writer who doesn’t actually know what they’re talking about.

And every time you do this (and it happens a lot), I look at it and go “Wait a minute, they clearly don’t understand this topic. Why should I trust their opinion on [other field I’m not as familiar with] when they’re acting just as smugly confident there?” And I can almost guarantee that new-coming biologists/environmentalists/political scientists//economist/physicist/interior designer/etc. have the same feeling in their particular field.

And what that does is it utterly destroys your credibility for those people. Because if you’re mouthing off in their field of expertise and you’re clearly not an expert, why should they trust any other opinion out of your mouth?

And this is bad. It’s bad for your particular beliefs, it’s bad for the purposes of intelligent debate, and it’s bad for your reputation as an intellectually honest individual. And I guarantee this is something I’m guilty of on here. I’m sure most people are guilty of it on here. But what makes it so egregious for the blogs I’m talking about are a few things.

  1. Gif-dismissal. This is the worst part. With me, if I’m wrong about something, I will usually argue the point, and I do so in an attempt to explain my point, while understanding the other point. But the blogs I’m talking about here will just respond with one line, a smug character gif, and act like they won. This is infuriating, even if I’m not participating in the chain. Just to see it shows bad faith in my book. It’s a “I don’t care if you’re an expert, I know I’m right because I am” line of thought. Even though they are sometimes arguing against biologists about biology.
  2. Not. Fucking. Learning. I’ve seen people argue the same (incorrect) points in the same smug way over and over again. I get it, you think you’re right. Shut the fuck up about it. Especially when you’re not the OP, and are going hunting for this shit. Are you really that unable to masturbate any other way?

There are people on this site who make an honest good-faith effort to discuss ideas. I can list off several if you’d like (and you probably know who you are). But for every one of them, I think I can list at least two more who just do the ‘smug gif character response’ shit, and then pretend they ‘won’ and discredit the actual expert (e.g. ‘that’s a fucking liberal hippy school, you didn’t actually learn economics) or some such.

Also, this is just as true for the ‘other’ side of the argument. But I don’t think I see them doing it as smugly, or at least they don’t present it as the true good-faith effort that this ‘side’ seems to.

/Ramble

anonymous asked:

I'm sorry I'm on mobile and I don't know if you have this linked anywhere but do you have a good study plan or know of any?

Hi lovely,

You don’t have to be sorry my dear, its totally understandable and okay that you’re on mobile. I understand that being on mobile is hard when you’re looking for my links. I’ve been meaning to put all my links in my description :)

My study plan:

  • Gather all materials needed for studying. (paper, pens, note cards, binder, books, laptop, charger, water bottle, small snack etc)
  • Find a place to study where there are no distractions. For me, I study in my kitchen at the dinner table. My family is really good about keeping the TV down and letting me do what I gotta do.
  • Take breaks when needed. I usually take 15 minute breaks about every hour or so. To stretch my legs, fill up my water bottle or even just get some fresh air.
  • Non lyrical music. Music helps me focus because I can’t have just dead silence, so I go look for pet therapy music that’s usually just relaxing sounds or even nature sounds. Just nothing with lyrics because that actually distracts me.
  • Do the hard work first and then work on the easier work. This helps me get my brain going and its actually been proven to help a person study/learn because as you do the harder work, rather than the east work, you’re allowing your brain to think and it’ll get easier along the way which is a plus for me.
  • Study buddy. Having someone to study with sometimes helps me, but not all the time. Having a friend with me to study often helps me until things get loud or we’re finishing at different times.
  • Being organized. It helps to have all my materials for studying close to me and where I will always know where they’re located.
  • Turning off all electronics. This helps me because being on social media when I’m trying to study, just doesn’t work out. The chemicals in our brains are alert to bright lights and sounds which makes focusing harder.

Time Management:

Motivation & Procrastination:

Study Techniques & Studying:

Notetaking:

Studying

Study Needs:

Hope this helps! :) xx

anonymous asked:

Hi! I'm currently studying Islam and considering converting, and I have a few questions I'm hoping aren't stupid(: For one, what is dua? And I'm nervous about wearing a hijab and being covered all the time, because I've never done it and it's such a sudden change, you know? What advice would you have for that? Lastly, my family is super Christian, and will say I'm only converting to be dramatic and will probably disown me (I wish I were kidding). How can I come to peace with that? Thank you!

Hello :) No question is stupid, always feel free to ask me (or any of us) any question you have.

What is a Dua?

Dua means supplication, and is a prayer. When we ask for something (good health, good faith, protection from hell) we are making a dua. It is calling out to God and having a conversation with our Lord. Dua is an uplifiting & empowering way to facilitate a healthy and strong relationship with God. It places full trust in God through reliance & faith. It is a submission to God, and therefore an act of worship. When we call upon one God, Allah, we are showing Him that we understand only He can truly solve our worries and problems, and only He controls the outcomes of the world.

Muslims can make dua any time. It includes praises of God, thanking God, hope, and general talking to God. It can be out loud or in your heart. It can be made for you, your family, strangers, the earth, even all of humanity. It can be done in any language.

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, encouraged the believers to make dua.  He said, “The dua of a Muslim for his brother (or sister) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says, Ameen. And may you also be blessed with the same’” (Authentic Muslim)

The benefits of dua are immense,

  • a sense of closeness to God
  • the outcome of your supplication
  • increase in faith
  • feeling hope, relief to distress
  • reward from God
  • a moment of peace and clarity

Hijab

Converting to Islam comes with a lot of difficulties, hijab being a huge one. However, it is a task that is so worth it. Rushing into hijab isn’t my advice though, I believe a slow and steady approach to lifestyle changes is better for your faith and your commitment to it.

First I suggest you study the meaning behind hijab. Read the ayat & hadith about hijab and read about other’s experiences with it. Muslim women wear hijab because it was a commandment of God. Every single day when we put it on we are reminded that we must be model Muslim citizens; give to charity, respect our elders, be kind to animals, smile & be friendly, help out those in need, learn and educate ourselves so we can benefit the society we live in, etc. Just as fasting during the month of Ramadan is a commandment from God, so is hijab. So it’s primary purpose is the spiritual connection. Next comes the benefits & other aspects. I firmly believe that’s important to understand. Just like Ramadan has many secondly benefits (humility, health, etc.); but they are not the main purpose.

I’ve written a lot about hijab here. This is my hijab in brief post.

I am not a revert, so when I began to wear hijab the only difficulty I had was with my Catholic family & my society. There are so many sisters on here who have reverted to Islam and could do you much more justice. I encourage them to add onto this post for your benefit. My tips are based on my experience, and will not reflect the experiences of a revert, but are still semi helpful lol

My Tips for Wearing Hijab

  • Set your intention - doing this for Allah. For God. Remember this throughout your journey
  • Start by modifying your clothes. If you wear capris and t-shirts now, switch to long pants and long sleeve tops. Slowly start covering your chest more (less low cut tops) and begin to wear looser jeans and tops. Start to purchase longer tops that go to your hips, then past your bottom, etc. Hijab is different for every girl, and you have to decide how you want to achieve your goals of modesty. Once you’ve built that image, slowly work for it. It may take a year, and to me, that’s ok.
  • Remember that hijab is a character trait truly first. Start working on your ego, your pride, your humility, etc. These are the real meanings behind hijab & you don’t have to cover your hair to reach them
  • Watch Youtube hijab tutorials to find styles you like so that you have fun with it. Hijab is so much fun to style, match with your clothing, etc.
  • Start wearing hijab when you drive to the post office or go to the grocery store. Maybe even drive to the town next to yours and put it on and walk around where no one will know you. Get used to the change slowly. A lot of girls find that once they begin to wear it more often here and there, they find it so hard to NOT wear it.
  • Throw a hijab party. Once you meet more Muslim sisters celebrate your hijab and have a party.
  • If you’re attached to styling your hair, begin to let that go. Wear a pony tail often and tuck away your straightener/curler.
  • Be aware that people will make you feel uncomfortable (or worse). Accept it, but what you’ll find is a lot of people will accept you.
  • Notice your self-esteem. It may fluctuate through this, but most of us find (if we have chosen it ourselves) it skyrockets your self-esteem
  • Gather support. Revert sisters can provide you with excellent tips on how to battle your issues, and other sisters will just be there for you if you need to vent. We are a family, and we are here for you
  • Prepare your conversation with your family. That’s the toughest thing, but just showing up one day with a hijab won’t go over well (trust me, been there done that, grandpa wasn’t happy). Talk to your loved ones about your decision, and be open to questions.
  • Follow hijab blogs so you can get your inspiration on
  • Buy light hijabs for the summer. After a while your body will adjust to extra material, you’ll get through the heat
  • Know this: things get better in time. People will stop treating you odd (maybe not your family though, and that’s rough - see bullet point number 1). The insecure feeling will go away. It will become normal to your classmates

Reverts & Family

As I said, I am no expertise in this category. There are so many reverts on this site who are much better at these topics.

Coming to peace with these types of issues can be seemingly impossible, but at the end of the day, you’re doing this for your religion.

When I started wearing hijab, my grandpa stopped talking to me. Now, this is nothing like the anxiety you’re feeling, but I hope this can be helpful. I watched a lecture by Nouman Ali Khan about showing people what Islam is and changing their perspectives with your character. So I did that. It was all I could do. I worked hard to show him that I am a better person because of Islam, not despite it. SubhanAllah, after 4 years, it paid off. I’m not saying this is what will happen for you, but it’s my experience, so hopefully you can benefit from it.

These tips are one’s from my revert friends, and mostly from my mom when she converted, I hope they help.

Tips

  • Understand where your parents are coming from and try to approach them from their standpoint
  • Remain patient & calm, your anger will solve nothing. I know that might be hard if they are saying degrading things, but Islam tells us “Don’t get angry”
  • Accept that things might be really bad for a long time, but if they get better, forgive. Breaking ties of kinship should only be done in extreme situation - you’ll know. Try to forgive if you can
  • Remain hopeful and optimistic.
  • Keep in mind its better to be happy (have a faith you love) than to sacrifice that for your family. Your happiness matters and you should choose what makes you the most content
  • Make dua about it :D
  • Decide if you want to tell them immediately or not. Depending on your situation, this is really variable. By not telling them immediately, they may have a chance to see your character change before they flip out about Islam being the cause
  • Place your value in your deen. Allah is the only one who really can determine your worth - which is based off your character. You know who you are. Don’t let their comments and their attitudes toward you affect your value. You’re loved by many others.
  • Pray the 5 daily prayers, it’s comforting
  • Stay away from Christianity vs. Islam. Focus on, we are all people of the book, we all believe in one God, we believe in Jesus, we have similar stories, we are closer than you think in faith.
  • Start going to the masjid so that if you do get disowned, there will be people who can provide you with a place to stay and some food. You’re our family, and there will be people to help

These are probably not the best, but I know some blogs who would be better at this (I hope they don’t mind me tagging them):

@hannah–icarus

@s-a-b-r

@patoispapi

@reverthelp

@revertrants

@houseoftombombadil

@kirstinregina

@themooselambaconvert

@zhukran

@deslove937

@mt-lostsoul

@shake-for-a-sheikh

@xaproudmuslimah

@kalilahmarie

My revert tag has lots of information, but you’re always welcome to ask me anything

R: Research: What to do Before You Query

I always talk about how the number one most important thing to do before you query is research, research, research.  But what exactly are you researching?  And how? Not every agent has an online presence, and those that do aren’t all located in the same place or sharing the same information.  Here’s a quick rundown of what to look for and how to find it: 

1.       Current information.  Make sure the agent is still active, accepting submissions, and hasn’t changed agencies!  Check the agency website, but don’t rely solely on that—some agencies don’t update their websites every time someone leaves. Good places to cross-reference for this information are Publishers Marketplace and LinkedIn. Also make sure the agent still handles the type of material you’re submitting!  If all of their YA deals on Publishers Marketplace are pre-2009, that might be a sign that they’re no longer handling YA.

2.       Submission guidelines.  Always read the guidelines on their agency’s website, but also check their personal website in case they have additional requirements. For instance, our agency guidelines do not allow for emailed submissions, but I prefer them; so my personal submission guidelines on my blog supersede our agency guidelines when querying me.  Don’t rely on QueryTracker or Publishers Marketplace bios for correct guidelines, as they don’t always get updated regularly.

3.       Interests. If you really want to stand out in the crowd, you need to tailor your query letter to the agent’s interests.  You’ll hit their sweet spot, and show that you’re willing to go the extra mile to do a job well—an important quality in an author!  How do you find their interests?  Their blog or Tumblr and Twitter are usually a great start.  Read through the last dozen or so posts and check out any links they’ve shared, get a feel for what they like talking about.  If they don’t have those, do a Google search (add “agent” or “literary agent” if they have a popular name that’s coming up with too many unrelated results).  Chances are good they’ve been interviewed, or participated on panels at events.  Find the most recent ones and read them through.

4.       What to expect.  This is where QueryTracker and other such sites come in handy.  Many agents will specify on their submission guidelines if they have a “no response means no” policy, but sometimes they don’t. However, if you look at the comments on an agent’s QueryTracker page, you’ll often be able to get a feel for how long it takes that agent to respond to queries, or whether they do at all.  

saphirarose0  asked:

So I'm still in high school and thinking about a career in anthro. I love it more than almost anything! But I just can't convince myself that I should go after it, because of jobs. Most people aren't out on sites digging. Could you give some advice in a few areas? 1. What should i do in high school to see if i should go into it and prepare myself to? 2. In college what should I look for and do to get ahead of the game? 3. And actual areas of common work? I can't find much on this topic.

Awesome!! Let’s see if I can help at all.

Now, I’m American which means anthropology is actually four different areas: cultural, linguistic, physical, and archaeology. I’m personally culture, but some of my best friends are archaeology, since we’re all the same major. With that said, I’m assuming that “sites digging” means you’re either interested in archaeology or paleoanthropology, since the other two disciplines will probably never call for actual physical labor. 

Paleoanthropology is the study of past hominins, like homo erectus or australopithecines. Two of my professors do this. The one is THE go-to paleoanthropologist for neandertals so he’s constantly going to Croatia and helping identify remains in cave sites, but he has plenty of stories about going to Africa (Ethiopia, I think) and helping with some of the earliest hominins with the Leakeys (yeah, he’s a big deal, and yeah he’s old). Anyways, Paleos do digging but would mostly be teaching or identifying remains in labs. They also require a PhD, I believe specifically a medical degree, so you’ll be doing practicals with people who will go off be to surgeons. There are probably universities though that offer specific paleo graduate programs though so you can always look for that. Also, if hominins aren’t your thing, archaeologists often need to seek out paleos or people who look into animal remains found on sites so that’s another area entirely. 

Archaeologists are a whole other thing. They study past humans but in particular they look at material culture, so likes pots and arrowheads and literal garbage heaps. What is most important for archaeologists, from what I understand, is going to field school. This you’ll do either after your junior year of college during the summer or the summer after you graduate. It’s an excursion to a field site for like a month in the middle of the woods and they teach you how to actually work the site. I was offered to go with a scholarship but declined. There’s always money available for this so if you go, have someone else pay lol. This is more important than the actual bachelors degree. Once you have field school, you can apply for any starting position archaeology job. And to say that ‘no ones out there digging’ is untrue. The US govt and universities constantly hire people, even especially right-out-of-college kids, to do ‘recovery’ or ‘protective’ archaeology or whatever its called. Basically the govt wants to destroy some land and they can’t because there’s stuff there and archaeologists need to show up and take care of it. Otherwise I know past arch majors who work in museums now. And, I even know people like me who are even going to graduate school for archaeology so that they can study a specific area or do theory or be professors. So there’s more options than just straight field stuff. 

1. What should i do in high school to see if i should go into it and prepare myself to? 

Paleo is most related to biology and anatomy. So those are classes you’d want to take. Anatomy is so fun anyways so even if you don’t want paleo I’d do it. 

Archaeology is most like history. Though I often don’t give archs too much credit, they do need to understand cultural theory, so if you can find a geography class, typically that will teach you stuff too. 

As for other preparing, visit universities by you with anthro programs, even if you don’t like the university, and talk to the anthro professors. Anthro professors are THE BEST and they are so fun and just really accepting. They’ll definitely be biased about with subfield you go into, of course, but if you give them some idea of what you like they can point you in the right direction. 

2. In college what should I look for and do to get ahead of the game?

What is really important about grad school is knowing 1. who are the professors and 2. what do they like. I’m sure this applies to undergrad school too though when I chose my college I did it based on financials (I’m poor af). You want your interests to align with the professors, but when you’re an undergrad, you’re not gonna know what you want. And, if you’re going to an American university, you’ll likely be forced by the curriculum to take classes from each subfield. So you may go in thinking ‘yeah I’m an archaeologist’ and realize that linguistics is the shit. So the best advice is to take any class you find interesting because you may just fall in love, like I did. And talk to your professors they want to help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other areas too, like geography or history, because anthro majors almost always have a minor (I had two). I think it’s hard to ‘get ahead’ because really what that requires is a lot of reading but academic articles are going to be beyond you because you haven’t taken even the basic courses yet. Reading any anthropology articles will help. I personally follow the AAA Facebook page, and they always post stuff, and that’ll get you a legit understanding of contemporary anthro. And for the love of god, study abroad.

3. And actual areas of common work? I can’t find much on this topic.

Sorry kid, no such thing. HA. Okay so again depends on the subfield. Archaeology I gave some examples. But the thing about a BA or BS is that no matter what your major is, you can get a job outside of it. I know so many people who say ‘there’s no jobs in that wth are you doing’ and really anthropologists have the one thing that everyone wants: cultural sensitivity. I can get a job with NGOs, internships with the state dept., I know someone who works with refugees, someone who helps at womens shelters, someone who actually works for an agency that stops human traffickers, someone who works for a cruise line and gives tours at the tourist archaeological sites in multiple languages. Some join the peace corps, some work for USAID, some are literally helping relocate people who are already affected by global warming. It’s nuts. No job will ever say ‘anthropologist wanted’ but they will say ‘cultural understanding’ or ‘social sciences’ or ‘writing’ or ‘diversity sensitivity’. And besides, you can get any job as it is. I know anthro people who now work for insurance companies. Your major literally does not matter. 

Anyways, cultural anthropologists as an actual career means being a professor to help fund your research. Same for linguists, and paleos. PhD = professor almost every time. Which isn’t a bad thing but keep that in mind. I personally want to get my masters degree and try being an editor. I do it part time for my professor and realize I really liked it so why the hell not. 

I’m posting this publicly because I know plenty of archaeologists and paleos follow this blog, I want them to offer resources or tips for you since I’m cultural and can’t give as much insight as I want to. Don’t be afraid to inbox me any other questions. Good luck, and welcome to anthropology. @saphirarose0

Tackling YouTube and copyright

Hello friends,

I’m sorry to start off on such a serious note after a long pause but here we go again. I’ve previously discussed matters of copyright in a more generic manner and focused more on blogs and Tumblr users posting art without permission.

Today I’d like to say a few words about YouTube. As most of you know, people love just googling images for their material (be it YouTube videos or blogs or anything else) and what often comes up first in the search results is deviantArt. Therefore, every single one of my dA submissions says I don’t allow the use of my work elsewhere without permission. Therefore, if you just take it and run, you cannot feign ignorance (even though not knowing about copyright does not redeem you of it either way). Lately I’ve been tackling these issues with YouTube video channels.

Some people ask me why I’m being so strict about this, where’s the harm? I’m loosely quoting one recent comment here; “…Put an awful lot of rules on people giving you exposure. If the post leads the view back here whats the problem?“

These are the reasons why it’s a problem

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

What other blogs do you follow that are similar to yours!?

Confession: I don’t follow many people on tumblr ;) 

I like to keep my dash clean and quick to scroll through. I’m seeing going through these that many have not posted in months or years, and some are “similar” only due to volume (they post everything), that said, enjoy perusing!

{Hallelujah Weddings} (posts often & I often reblog, she’s likely annoyed), {white-dress-dreams}, {A Wedding Scrapbook}, {nature-and-weddings}, {HipsterBride}, {loveforweddings}, {theweddingtree}, {futurewedding}, {delicatewedding}, {myhippiewedding}, {20somethingbride}, {ido-dreams}

adventurefolk & brotherstories & djmase These are all (mostly) wedding-free, but just some lovely people living outdoor-appreciative lives.

Most material comes from non-tumblr sites:

Green Wedding Shoes, Grey Likes Weddings, Style me Pretty, Ruffled, Wedding Chicks, Once Wed, Intimate Weddings (less known, so great!), Festival Brides, Mountainside Bride, Love & Lavender.  

Check These ALL Out! They are each lovely in their own ways. Find links to every last one of them conveniently on this site …warning, the link is a black hole of procrastination ;)

Speaking of procrastination…damn this took a chunk of time! Enjoy!

How to Write Fiction More Efficiently: Some Advice

I get it. Life gets in the way of writing more than I’d like to admit. Sometimes getting your drive back can be the most frustrating in the world, but sometimes the slump just won’t go away, so you have to push against it until it budges. SO here are some tips that have helped me become a more efficient writer.

Disclaimer: This post will contain a lot of tough love. 

Also, while I may imply that writing is super important if you want to be a dedicated writer, don’t let it consume your entire life. Make sure that you’re still taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical health, and that you’re maintaining your relationships with others and working hard at your workplace/school. Don’t forget to enjoy life and activities other than writing.

Don’t forget that you should not base your self-esteem on how great or how efficient you are as a writer.

1. Stop giving excuses

There may be times in life where your workload and circumstances will prevent you from writing often, but there will be many more instances where you can shove writing into your schedule somehow, even if it is for a short period every day or every few days. Also, it’s going to be difficult to gain your edge back after a long period of not writing. I promise you, after months of not writing, you’re going to be rusty. 

If you can’t work on a big project, do prompts in your spare time. Stop waiting for that magical moment when everything will be okay and you’ll suddenly have this overwhelming drive to write. 

This leads me to my next point:

2. Stop waiting for inspiration

I understand. You are an ARTIST. Your muse is fleeting like the wind and her love is cold and unreliable. So that must mean it’s totally okay to stop writing regularly because you lack this wonderful yet fickle thing called inspiration

A lot of times, life is draining. It can drain the creativity right out of you, and it won’t come back for a long time, so stop relying on inspiration because you won’t know when it will hit you next. The muse is useful when she’s there, but when she’s not, keep writing, she’ll come eventually. 

3. You have to know when to turn off your Wi-Fi 

One of the harshest truths of this post.

The internet is a beautiful yet distracting place. Turn it on for research. Turn it off when you’re done. This is easier said than done, but Google Chrome and Firefox have extensions like StayFocused that can block any site of your choice while you’re working or studying. 

4. Let your inner editor be lazy(while writing)

A lot of people fear criticism. They fear that sarcastic, scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon or that one book blog. A lot of people are pressured. They want everything they write to be Prestigious Book Award material. So that anxiety and fear can carry over to when you’re writing. But here’s the good news: when you’re writing your first draft of anything, it can suck. Just be sure to edit the sucky-ness later. Personally, I go into the mindset that dammit, I’m too lazy to edit this, and I make notes at the bottom of my word document about the edits and flaws that I encounter as I write. When I’m done writing, I fix the errors, awkward phrases, and intended edits. Be merciless when you edit, but lenient when you write.

5. Join a writing challenge

Nanowrimo is one of the most prominent and probably one of the most beneficial writing challenges that I can think of. It changed my process as a writer, and it taught me that my excuses don’t matter. Because when you’re set on winning Nano, you find ways to write even in ridiculous circumstances. It’s also beneficial because every time I participate, there’s always a noticeable jump in the quality of my writing. If November is too hectic, join Camp Nano, which is held twice a year during two separate months.

Writing challenges teach discipline, hone your skills, and teach you to stop giving excuses. I recommend doing one whenever you feel the urge or need to sharpen your skills.

6. Recharge

Many people fail to mention this piece of advice. Writing is tiring business. Don’t neglect your health because of writing. Always take care of yourself. Get up once in a while and exercise often. Get a lot of sleep and hydrate. Don’t skip out on social events just because of writing. As much as I love writing, enjoying life, meeting people, and taking care of yourself is important(and don’t forget experiences can provide you with inspiration). Many great writers lived interesting lives that only enhanced their work. Even if you’re not rich or if you don’t travel often, just being among people and being in places that inspire you is enough to make a life worthwhile, so don’t skip out on them.

AND READ AND ENJOY DIFFERENT KIDS OF MEDIA. I get drained of all my creativity the more I stay away from books and media. Reading is what makes a great writer, and it is as educational as it is entertaining and inspiring. Read a lot and read widely. Also, don’t neglect other forms of media as well. Spoken word, movies, TV shows, comics, video games, short films, musicals, and other forms of art and media are full of stories and content that are refreshing, fun, and creative.

7. Schedule your writing sessions and set a wordcount goal for every day

Setting a certain set of hours as your time to write can force you into being more productive in that set amount of time, and you’ll built a habit. The wordcount goal will add a little time pressure. Your wordcount goal can be any amount of words you want. Terry Pratchett used to write 400 words a day (while working a full-time job) before he published his first Discworld book, and it’s a great, do-able goal. Feel free to pick your own wordcount goal based on how much time you have/what you think you can do in a certain amount of time daily. 

Don’t beat yourself up too much if you don’t end up reaching your goal. Some days the fact that you tried is good enough.

This will also help you manage your time so you can do things other than writing. While writing may be a big part of your life, it should be a part of it and not the whole thing. Don’t let writing prevent you from living an amazing, colorful life. 

8. Be merciless and just write

A lot of the time, there really is no other solution. You just have to write even if you don’t want to. Write even if your stupid muse is on vacation. Truthfully, the first words of a writing session are often the hardest to force, so just power through those until you get to the point where it’s all flowing smoothly. Then GASP time will have passed and you’ll have written thousands or hundreds of words. 

There will be those times when you won’t be inspired even a little bit and every word will require an incredible amount of effort. Try skipping the section/chapter or cutting something out. Try adding something new. Try changing the scene. If that still doesn’t work, get a healthy beverage, sit your ass down and WRITE.

I hope this helped you guys. Happy writing!

merry-kuroo  asked:

Hi! Don't know if this has been done, but how about GOM + Kagami's s/o convince them to get a Tumblr and now they are completely addicted to it?? Thanks and I love you and your blog <3

OMG DONT HATE ME FOR DOING THIS I REALLY DONT KNOW BUT THE REQUEST IS SO CUTE??? CRIES

Akashi: “Sei, it’s actually a good site. You post or reblog stuff that you want to be in your blog and when people will like your posts, they will follow you!” you explained since he questioned y ou about what’s addicting in Tumblr.

“Followers? They’ll follow me?” he asked, trying to hide that amused smile on his face. “I’m impressed.”

(A week after)

You noticed how late it really was but Akashi was still wide awake facing his laptop. You tried to recall if you had homework to give him reason to stay up late on a Saturday night, but you didn’t have any.

“Seijuro it’s late already. I thought sleep is important? You keep on telling me that and now you’re the one who’s staying up late!”

“You go ahead, (f/n). I just need to track the addresses of my blog followers. They need to be punished since they didn’t obey me, Akashi Seijuro. I asked them to talk to me, yet no one came to my ask box and leave a simple ‘hi’ or ‘hello’. How dare they defy me? Anyway, good night. I’ll go to bed immediate once I’m done here my dear.”

Aomine: “What can you even get from there? I mean it’s just a site. Come on babe! Making out with me is a lot more fun, you know?” Aomine couldn’t handle the fact that you were actually spending more time on a blogging site than with him. He couldn’t see the point of choosing Tumblr over having sexy times with him…he just couldn’t.

“Well, it literally has everything that interests you…” you simply said. “Try to make an account and you’ll surely get me.” You didn’t have really try to convince him, knowing that maybe he’d just become too lazy to create one.

“Everything?”

“Well, yeah.”

(A week after)

“Daiki let’s watch a movie together,” you invited as you scanned through the list of movies you have on your laptop. “I mean you’ve been spending too much time on Tumblr these past few days.” You were actually whining now, but he seemed not to get the memo.

“You just go ahead, (f/n). There are new updates in this Mia-chan blog. I’ll just follow after I finish scanning through the pictures.”

And you honestly tried your best not to hit his face with your laptop because Aomine…really?

Kise: “You should try it, Ryouta! Other models have a blog of their own, you know?”

After hearing that from you, he immediately snatched your laptop from you and logged your account out before creating one of his own. That information was enough to finally convince him and create a blog. You immediately regretted about saying such to him since he happened to become addicted to it right away.

(A week after)

“Kise Ryouta! Give me my laptop back! I need to submit a paper in History so please!” you yelled as you sent glares at your boyfriend. You didn’t really mind him using your laptop (he had one of his own but he didn’t know where he put it so he always borrowed yours), but the paper was an essential part of your final grade and you just couldn’t just let your boyfriend’s addiction become the reason of a late paper.

“(l/n)cchi! Five more minutes! I’m changing my theme and I can’t look for a good sidebar picture. What do you think? This or this?” he asked as he showed you two of the thousands of pictures he had. “Or should I just take a new one?”

“Are you serious? For real? You just changed your theme yesterday remember? You were bragging about a fan who volunteered to code for you and you’re changing it again?!”

Kuroko: “I don’t understand why you always have to share your experiences to people who live across the globe, (l/n)-san,” Kuroko bluntly said as he noticed how hyped up you were while answering a message sent to you about your latest post.

“I don’t know. I mean, I guess it’s because I can related to them and vice versa? It’s amazing to have internet friends too, you know! Especially when you two have the same interests! The connection will just be established right away and before you know it, bam! You’re like friends for so many years now.”

(A week after)

“Good morning(l/n)-san. I’m sorry to interrupt your sleep but, may I borrow your camera again?”

“J-just get it from my drawer,” you grumbled. “But seriously Tetsu…3:30 AM?”

“Well, like you, I managed to find friends on Tumblr. After this, may I borrow your laptop? I need to upload the pictures soon so that they can see it right away. Most of my Tumblr friends are from the US and I don’t want them to stay up too late just to see Nigou so I decided that maybe I should be the one to adjust.”

Midorima: “Tumblr? The blogging site? How absurd,” he simply scoffed when you mentioned to him that he should try to use Tumblr, too.

“Would you still consider it absurd if I say that there’s an Oha Asa blog and tons of other blogs of the same kind?”

(A week after)

“Shin you’re not listening to Oha Asa anymore…” you said, still not used to the fact that your boyfriend stopped listening to the horoscope every early morning.

“I follow Oha Asa on Tumblr so I don’t necessarily have to listen to it, unless I need to check things twice.”

“Oh you’re really a Tumblr user now? I bet you’re addicted to it!” you teased with that sly smile of yours that always made your boyfriend blush like hell.

“O-of course not!” he said defensively.

“Says the guy who has 1750 posts already. Are you reaching the daily limit?” you giggled noticing how the shade of red on his face deepened.

Murasakibara: “(l/n)chin I want to crush that laptop so much. It’s taking all your time from meeeeee,” the purple-haired boy whined. “What are you doing anyway?” He gave you a pouting face with a glare and you swore to the heavens that it was the cutest.

“I’m just on Tumblr, Atsushi!”

“I wanna crush Tumblr.”

“Even if you find out that there are tons of food blogs?”

(A week later)

“Atsushi! Himuro-kun is here already. I think you two have practice!” He was inside your shared bedroom and ever since you mentioned about the food blogs, he couldn’t help but create an account of his own just to reblog stuff that interested him (pretty much everything). He’d whine about how hungry he becomes by just looking at the pictures but he’d still stay on the site.

“Tell him I’m busy,” he shouted with that lazy voice of his. “Say (l/n)chin, do we have some heavy cream and condensed milk there? I saw a recipe on how to make a two-ingredient icecream. Oh wait is Murochin still there?”

Kagami: Curiosity was really killing him. What’s so addicting in Tumblr anyway? It’s just a blogging site yet you stay up all night just by scanning pictures and reading various materials.

“Well, Taiga, the Tumblr community is pretty big. I sometimes get my clothes from here you know? There are so many online shopping sites that have Tumblr as their host site. They have everything for anything!”

(A week later)

“(f/n), can you please pass my laptop?” he asked since you were relatively nearer to his computer.

You giggled, reaching out to him. His laptop was pretty heavy and yours weighed nothing compared to his. “You’ve been using your laptop quite often Taiga.”

“Remember when you mentioned about online shops?” he smiled sheepishly. “Well I created an account and looked for official sellers of basketball shoes and I happened to find one…” he explained, showing you the site. “And look, I just ordered a new pair of shoes from Nike.”

“But looks like you’ve been posting a lot, too,” you giggled pointing at his post count. “Let me see your posts!”

Your boyfriend became flustered the moment you opened his blog. You, on the other hand, couldn’t help but giggle due to the amount of recipes he’s been posting and, well, they actually managed to get tons of notes.

“So is this why you’ve been taking a lot of notes lately while you cook?”

anonymous asked:

I don't know if you got the Anon going around about what canon means to you but I would love to hear your take on what canon looks like for us. The other ship is quick to talk about Reedus and those bios to say canon for B£thyl but I don't think actor interviews are a good source. They all lie and troll right? What do you think Caryl is right now? Canon or close or what? Thanksxo

Hi there anonymous friend,

Thank you for your question and for trusting me with it.

Just to be clear - NO I didnt get the ask you are referring to but I did see it on my dash today BUT since you asked me I am more than happy to give you my opinion on the subject.

The term CANON is a relatively “loose” term in any fandom and it seems that its definition also varies from person to person in how they choose to interpret the narrative and it’s outside input.

It’s not set in stone so to speak!

The urban dictionary has it listed as;

“Another word for official. Used quite often in fan fiction to differentiate between the official storyline in which the fan fiction is based on.
OR
Default pairings, often used to describe pairings in fanfiction that are claimed to be obvious. in other words, a couple that is heavily promoted or suggested in the show.”

Keep reading